Ukrainian Andrei Bondarenko wins Cardiff song prize

Andrei Bondarenko
Image caption Andrei Bondarenko is also trying to win the competition's Sunday final

A 24-year-old Ukrainian baritone has won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize.

Andrei Bondarenko beat four other young singers to triumph in the second prize in the international competition.

He will also have the chance to take the main prize in Sunday's final.

Bondarenko is following in the footsteps of his own opera idol Bryn Terfel who is a past winner. He said: "It was my dream and I can't believe it has come true."

Máire Flavin from Ireland, Valentina Naforniţă from Moldova, Olga Kindler from Switzerland, and Leah Crocetto from USA also took to the stage in St David's Hall, Cardiff on Friday.

They were competing for the £5,000 prize and the chance to join to BBC Radio 3's New Generation Artists scheme.

It was Bondarenko's programme of Schumann and Sviridov that most impressed the jury.

He was presented with a Welsh crystal trophy by competition patron Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Bondarenko said: "Seven years ago when I was training at the Kiev Conservatory in Ukraine, I would never have imagined that I would be here today, having won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize. I am so very happy."

Welsh opera star bass baritone Bryn Terfel won the Song competition in 1989.

This year the Song Prize jury was chaired by John Fisher, former chief executive and artistic director of Welsh National Opera, and included Marilyn Horne and Håkan Hagegård, Swedish pianist Bengt Forsberg and BBC Radio 3's Adam Gatehouse.

Bondarenko is also taking part in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011 final with Meeta Raval from England, Valentina Nafornita from Moldova, Olesya Petrova from Russia and Hye Jung Lee from South Korea.

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, which was started in 1983, is organised by BBC Cymru Wales in association with Welsh National Opera and supported by Cardiff council.

The Song Prize Final will be broadcast on Saturday, June 18, at 2000 BST on BBC Radio 3 presented by Donald Macleod. Also on Saturday on BBC Four at 1930 BST, Petroc Trelawny and Josie D'Arby will present coverage of the Song Prize final with comment and analysis from Sir Thomas Allen and Mary King.

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